Steven A. Bagen | November 13, 2023 | Car Accidents
Locals and tourists routinely rely upon various local ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, to get around. Many people use ridesharing vehicles to go to and from work, to travel while on vacation, or to attend a tourist site or downtown restaurant.
However, with a higher number of ridesharing vehicles comes the possibility of serious accidents that involve these vehicles. In some situations, an Uber or Lyft accident may happen when the ridesharing driver commits a negligent act. However, sometimes, an accident may happen when a third-party driver behaves recklessly or carelessly.
In any case, if you suffered injuries as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you must speak with an experienced rideshare accident lawyer as quickly as possible.
A knowledgeable attorney in your area can review the facts and circumstances of your accident and determine your eligibility to file a claim for personal injury compensation.
Your lawyer may then handle every step of the claims-filing process for you, including negotiating with insurance company representatives and pursuing monetary compensation in your case.
Finally, if the insurance company does not make you a fair settlement offer for your accident-related losses, then your attorney can file a lawsuit in the state court system on your behalf in pursuit of a favorable litigation result.
Your attorney will aggressively advocate for you and pursue the fair monetary damages you deserve for your injuries.
Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare accidents may happen when other people drive carelessly or recklessly. They may also occur when an Uber or Lyft driver commits one or more negligent acts while behind the wheel.
One of the most common causes of rideshare accidents is traffic law violations. These violations may involve a driver’s failing to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at a traffic intersection, failing to use a turn signal, tailgating other vehicles, or exceeding the speed limit.
An Uber or Lyft accident might also occur when a driver behaves in an extremely reckless manner, such as by exhibiting road rage.
Common examples of road rage include:
- Failing to use turn signals.
- Aggressively weaving around traffic.
- Cutting off other vehicles in traffic.
- Tailgating other vehicles.
When a driver exhibits road rage, they are often likely to cause a serious accident, which leads to debilitating injuries.
Rideshare accidents may also happen when a driver operates their vehicle while distracted. Distracted drivers frequently cause accidents because they fail to watch the road attentively while behind the wheel.
Some of the most common types of distracted driving include fiddling with a cellular phone or tablet while driving, programming a GPS navigation device, roughhousing with vehicle passengers, adjusting the volume on a stereo system, listening to loud music, eating or drinking while driving, or combing one’s hair while driving.
All these activities may cause a driver to take their eyes off the road and miss seeing another vehicle in the vicinity, bringing about a serious accident.
Finally, some rideshare accidents happen when people drive while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An individual who sustains a conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, may have to pay high monetary fines, serve jail time, and satisfy other serious legal penalties. Additionally, they may lose their driving privileges for a specified amount of time.
If a rideshare vehicle driver or a third-party driver is intoxicated and causes an accident that leads to injuries, then they or their insurance company may be responsible for the resulting damages.
Intoxicated driving is extremely dangerous because drunk drivers frequently experience mental and physical limitations that prevent them from operating a vehicle carefully.
For example, a driver may suffer from dizziness or blurred vision, which prevents them from noticing other vehicles in the vicinity. Similarly, a drunk driver may experience an inability to judge distances, disorganization, limited concentration, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time.
Therefore, if they see another vehicle approaching, they may not stop their own vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
If you recently suffered injuries in a rideshare accident as a passenger, then you may have legal options that you can consider. For example, you can file a claim against the rideshare operator’s individual insurance company or an Uber corporate policy.
Your attorney can evaluate your legal options so that you can make intelligent and informed decisions at every stage of your personal injury case.
After suffering injuries in a rideshare accident, always get the medical help you need as quickly as possible. Additionally, if an emergency room doctor makes recommendations for future treatment, follow through on those recommendations.
For example, an ER doctor might recommend that you follow up with your primary care physician, especially if your symptoms get worse. You may also need to undergo surgery or another medical procedure and attend ongoing physical therapy sessions.
Finally, you might need to consult with a medical specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor or neurologist, depending on the severity of your injuries.
By completing your prescribed medical treatment regimen, you significantly increase your chances of obtaining a full recovery from your injuries.
You also increase your likelihood of recovering favorable monetary compensation, either through a settlement offer from the insurance company or litigation result in court. While you complete your medical treatment, your attorney can begin gathering the documents necessary to prove your case.
How Does Insurance Coverage Work in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
Victims of rideshare accidents that result from others’ negligence can recover various types of monetary compensation in damages for their injuries.
If you suffered your rideshare accident in a no-fault insurance state like Florida, you may first turn to your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage for the monetary compensation you need.
However, PIP coverage compensates accident victims only for things like medical expenses and lost income. If you suffered a permanent or disabling injury, you can file a claim against the ridesharing company’s corporate policy or the at-fault driver’s personal insurance policy.
If an individual is involved in an Uber accident, the applicable Uber corporate policy limits are normally $1 million per accident and $1 million in the aggregate. In any situation, the Uber policy does not come into effect until an Uber driver accepts a fare using their cellular device. At that point, the Uber policy stays effective until the passenger arrives at their intended destination and exits the vehicle.
Uber also applies a $1 million policy to both underinsured and uninsured motorist accidents. In an underinsured accident case, the at-fault driver has some insurance coverage, but they do not have enough to adequately compensate the accident victim for all their losses.
In that situation, the accident victim may first exhaust the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and then turn to the underinsured motorist policy for the balance.
However, in a totally uninsured motorist scenario, the at-fault driver has no insurance or they flee the accident scene. In that case, the accident victim may turn directly to the uninsured motorist policy for monetary compensation.
In cases where an Uber driver has activated their phone app but has not accepted a ride, then the applicable policy limits of coverage are $50,000 per person, $100,000 in the aggregate, and $25,000 for property damage.
In cases where an Uber driver causes an accident because of some negligent action on their part, then the Uber driver’s individual policy of insurance may provide the accident victim with the monetary compensation that they need for their losses.
The insurance policy arrangements with Lyft are slightly different. In cases where a Lyft driver becomes involved in a motor vehicle crash but they do not have their phone app running, their individual policy of insurance is in effect. Since they do not have their phone on, a fare would not occupy their vehicle at that time.
However, if the Lyft driver is waiting for a fare after turning on their app, and a collision occurs, then the Lyft corporate policy may become effective. Under that policy, coverage limits are $50,000 per person, $100,000 in the aggregate, and $25,000 for property damage.
Whatever a Lyft driver is on the way to a passenger’s intended destination, after having already retrieved the passenger, then $1 million of Lyft corporate coverage applies.
Coverage then stays in effect until the Lyft driver drops off their passenger at their destination. Additionally, Lyft corporate provides for both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage at this time.
A knowledgeable rideshare accident attorney can explain your insurance coverage options if you suffer injuries in an accident. Your lawyer can then file the appropriate claim on your behalf and pursue the maximum amount of monetary compensation you deserve to recover for your injuries.
Monetary Damages for an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you sustained injuries in an Uber or Lyft accident, you might be eligible to recover various categories of monetary compensation and damages. Since every accident scenario is different, not all accident victims may recover the same types and amounts of monetary damages.
The total compensation award you receive will likely depend upon various accident-specific factors, including the type of accident that occurs, the total cost of your medical treatment, the extent of your injuries, and whether or not any of your bodily injuries are permanent.
First, rideshare accident victims may recover compensation for their tangible losses, including monetary recovery for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of earning capacity.
In addition to out-of-pocket losses, accident victims may pursue compensation for their intangible losses.
Those damages compensate accident victims for their physical pain and suffering, cognitive impairments, mental distress, loss of spousal consortium, loss of the ability to use a body part, lost quality of life, permanent disability or disfigurement, permanent scarring, lifetime or long-term care costs, and inconvenience.
A knowledgeable rideshare accident attorney in your area can handle all settlement negotiations on your behalf and work to obtain the highest possible monetary award for your case.
Your lawyer can also threaten the insurance company with litigation in the state court system if they refuse to compensate you fairly for your injuries.
If you ultimately decide to litigate your case in the court system, your attorney can represent you in all legal proceedings, including a civil jury trial, mediation session, or binding arbitration proceeding.
At those proceedings, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf, call witnesses to testify, and make a closing argument in your case.
Contact a Skilled Rideshare Accident Lawyer Today for More Information
If you suffered injuries in a recent rideshare accident that a negligent driver caused, obtain the legal help that you need as quickly as possible. This is because accident victims must file a lawsuit within two years of their accident date, according to the state statute of limitations.
Otherwise, the courts will dismiss any lawsuit they later file and prevent them from recovering the monetary compensation they deserve for their injuries.
A knowledgeable rideshare accident attorney can handle every step of the process, including negotiating with insurance company adjusters, litigating your case in the court system, and pursuing the maximum monetary compensation to make you whole again after your accident.
Seek a free, no-obligation consultation with a trusted personal injury attorney near you.